What is laxatives?

How can you safely use laxatives?

Here are some tips that can help you stay safe when using laxatives.

  • Take any laxative or bulking agent with plenty of water or other liquids.
  • Do not take stimulant laxatives regularly. Stimulant laxatives change the tone and feeling in the large intestine and you can become dependent on using laxatives all the time to have a bowel movement. If you need help having regular bowel movements, use a bulking agent, such as bran or psyllium (for example, Metamucil).
  • Regular use of stimulant laxatives—such as Correctol, Dulcolax, Ex-Lax, Senokot, or bisacodyl—may change your body's ability to absorb vitamin D and calcium. This can cause weakening of your bones (low bone density).

What is a laxative?

A laxative is a substance that helps you have a bowel movement. Laxatives are used to relieve and prevent constipation, which occurs when it is difficult to have a bowel movement.

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.